Monday, October 28, 2013

"Think Less + Love More"

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm sorry that I won't have the time to email you all back individually. I am actually headed to Niagra Falls shortly - I am so excited! Oh, and transfers are this coming week soooo hold the mail until I give you the go for next week. I tend to get transferred a lot eh???

I got a letter from my dear Grandma Shirley this week and the front of the card said - 

"Imagine yourself doing what you LOVE and LOVING what you do. Being happy from the inside out, experiencing your dreams wide awake, being creative, being unique, being you - changing the things to the way you know they can be - living the life you always imagined." 

I love that so much! It was super uplifting - so thank you Grandma :) As for the rest of you - feel free to write me a letter whenever!

I have to tell you all about the Julian family. They are amazing! Brother Julian works for the church - he does maintenance on the church buildings, so he travels to Salt Lake a lot. Anyways, they had us over for dinner last week and it was so much fun. They had this HUGE nutella container (see picture) and I about died. They said they would buy me one next time they went to Costco...

We have been working with so many Less Actives here. It is awesome. We saw Liz Hughes again this week and took Sister Watson. They were friends from another ward way back in the day, haha. They spent about an hour catching up while Sister P and I just sat there enjoying their conversation. :) Did I mention that Sister Watson looks like you mom?? I'll send some pictures. I love hanging out with her because it's like being with you - I LOVE YOU! We also went and got sushi with Becky this week. It was so dang good. I even used the chopsticks, which I knew would make you proud Dad. :) Also, another Less Active - Pat Jackett came to church yesterday. Her favorite saying now is "Doubt your doubt before you doubt your faith". Thank you General Conference....

So, in my email last week I mentioned a girl that just showed up to church that we are now teaching. Well her name is Kerry, and she is doing well. She came to church again yesterday and stayed for the baptism of one of the people that the Elders were teaching. She is working towards her baptism on November 24th.

Cleveland is doing pretty well. We gave him the week to think things through, so we aren't sure what is going to happen with him. Agency...

Okay. So picture this. Imagine a mix between Katie and Ciera. Doesn't that sound like the funnest person ever? Well, I met her this week. She is another less active's daughter, Stephanie. She is SO dang funny. She laughs like Katie and tells stories like Ciera. I haven't laughed that hard in the longest time. She is about 28, and I told her she should go on a mission because she'd be the greatest companion ever. Ahh, man I love meeting funny people. 

Miracle time - we were out walking the streets in the BITTER COLD CANADIAN WEATHER - when we started talking to this lady at the bus stop. It started off as small talk, then she said - "So how are all the people at the church doing?" It totally caught me off guard, but turns out she is a member! She is supppper inactive, and hasn't been to church in many many years, but she recognized the name tags. :) She told us her address, and we went to see her a few days ago. She is the sweetest thing. It was so amazing to run into her and to now be teaching her...

Another miracle this week. A member gave me a winter coat. We went to her house for dinner and as I was putting on my black coat she said - "That won't keep you warm out there." She went and got this coat that she has been meaning to give away, and now it's mine. :) It should be perfect for the winter. 

Brother Gillett gave us this huge box of chocolates just because he loves us - the members take such good care of us here!

You're probably wondering why this email is titled "Think Less + Love More." Well, those are wise words from the one and only Dallin Hardcastle. They have stuck with me ever since I read them several months ago. It has been the best advice to get me through. It is so true though. Think less about myself and love those around me more. So thank you, Dallin, for that profound statement. :)

We had the Ward Trunk or Treat this past week. I dressed up as a missionary. Best costume ever! Haha, it was fun though. I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween! Don't eat too much candy....

Oh, and I know you're all wondering about the weather here. It's freezing. Enough said.

Love you all forever!


Sister Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others On Their Way"


Mom's twin - Sister Watson

Sushi with Becky!

Yum :)

Life is like a box of chocolates....

Baby, it's cold outside!!

Sister Watson as a firefly...

Sister Nantais - funniest costume ever.

Mckayla - My favorite little girl in the whole world :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

I can't think of a good subject for this email.

Greetings to my favorite people, 

It was so great to get a letter from Grandma Ida this week, as well as my soon-to-be sister Hannah. :) Thank you so much! 

There isn't much to say this week, considering I wrote just a few short days ago. I've come to realize that everyday feels like P-day. The weeks go by SO quick. This week I got the flu. I couldn't keep anything down for a good two days. Why do I get sick so much? Grrr.

We are still working with the amazing Healy family. I love them so much! There is such a sweet spirit in their home, and I love going over there.

We are also still working with Cleveland, and he came to church again yesterday! Woot woot! He is working towards his baptism in a few weeks.

Brother Gillett is an older member who gave us the most amazing treat bag this week. It was full of skittles and starbursts. Booyaa!

We saw a less active family yesterday, the Sepper's. Brother Sepper served his mission in Pocatello, Idaho, and he even served in Island Park and Idaho Falls! We were talking about it for a long time. He said that when he was staying up in Island Park he would just stay with members at their cabin and go talk to people who were fishing or something like that. Can you imagine?! Haha, it was so fun to talk with him about Idaho because it's one of my favorite places!

Yesterday, a member brought her non-member friend to church and we are now teaching her. Miracles!

I am really excited for this week coming up. We have a dinner appointment every single night (Hasn't happened since Ajax). We also have the Ward Halloween Party this Saturday night and it should be really great. Apparently it's super well attended and a lot of non-members come. :) Missionary work at its finest. 

Well, my dear friends, I realize that this is a short and lame email. I just finished the Doctrine and Covenants this morning. I loved reading it so much, and I'm sad it has come to an end. Starting tomorrow I will be reading the Old Testament. I wonder how long that will take. Haha!
I don't even have any pictures to attach this week. Fail! Next week will be epic, I promise.

Thank you so much for all the support that you all give me. I am truly so blessed. I love what I get to do each day. It is an honor and a privilege. I came here to invite others to come unto Christ, and in return, my life has changed. I thank my Heavenly Father every single day for entrusting this calling to me. I love you all, have a great week.

Sister Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others On Their Way"

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thanksgiving....Canadian Style :)

Hello Family and Friends, 

I have to give a shout out to my Mommy and Momma Barb for sending me letter this week. MADE MY DAY! 

I have quite a bit to say this week because it's been awhile since I emailed last...

Last week I went to Brampton on an exchange with Sister Tuia. She goes home in three weeks, and she is possibly my favorite sister missionary ever. Next to Sister Belyea. It was so much fun to be in Brampton. We drove by the temple probably 20 times. It was a day full of laughter. Sister Tuia has the same sense of humor as me, so when you put the two of us together --- there is trouble. She is actually going to come stay with us next year when I get home, so you will all be able to meet her.  :)

Cleveland. Ahhhh so much to say. If I had a dollar for every time he said "I'll try" when we leave him commitments, I'd be rich. Seriously. Every time he says that, I say "Okay, one more dollar in the jar." We get quite the kick out of it. He is going so well though. He came to church, got a Priesthood blessing and is listening to the Book of Mormon every day. After he got the blessing and we asked him how he felt he said, "I feel light." You can honestly see the changes in his life and it is amazing to witness it. We make daily contact with him, so he's probably my best friend. Haha. We even spent part of our Thanksgiving painting doors for him. :)

We had Zone Training Meeting this past week. Oh, I may have mentioned this already. But, one of my ZL's Elder Kenning is from Bountiful. He goes home at the end of this transfer so he will be hand delivering a letter to you all.  :) Woot woot!

We finally made contact with the greatest Less-Active of all time. We call her Sister Liz and she calls Sister P and I "Sisters HP." She is a returned missionary, and she actually served in Indianapolis, Indiana. We talked to her for quite some time, and she is working on coming back to church. As we were leaving her home, she yelled out the door - "Pray Hard and Work Hard." So motivating. I love her!

Ready for the greatest miracle of my time in Hamilton so far?? Ya'll should be on the edge of your seats....The Healy Family.  :) Sister Healy is less-active, and missionaries have been trying to work with her for months and months. Well, last Friday we were supposed to go blitz the area next to us, but nothing was working out. We got lost, we were running super late and had NO gas in our car. I didn't have a good feeling about going to the blitz at all, so we turned around and went to the Healy's. Thank goodness we did that. Her husband, who is only home every other weekend, was home. We talked with them and their two kids for well over an hour. They invited us back the next day to help do some work around their yard. We took things slow, trying to build trust, and it went so well. When we went back the next day, we talked to the husband for a long time. He told us how he has listened to the whole Book of Mormon as he drives (he's a truck driver). After we worked in their yard, we went in and talked to them for awhile. Laura expressed how she wants to be retaught everything. With tears running down her face she told us that she wants this for her family and her children. So therefore, we are teaching her, her husband and her two kids. Such a miracle. God softens hearts. God's timing is perfect.

Sis P and I got a call Friday night asking us if we would speak in Sacrament on Sunday. Suuuree why not. Haha, I wrote my talk the morning of. It was on chapter 4 of PMG, the commandments. I spoke on keeping the sabbath day holy and tithing. It went well. Did I mention how much I love the ward here? There is a rumor that this ward is the best ward to be in around Christmas time. The Bishop has already asked us for our "Wish Lists."

Sooooo let's talk about Thanksgiving. Thank you for the cute package first of all. :) Thanksgiving was spent trying to be productive. HAHA! No one wanted much to do with us because they were with family. Anyways, we had a wonderful turkey dinner at the Cantlon's (see picture). I was so full after. It was weird to not lay down and take a nap....Apparently Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada because of the harvest...people get really into it. It was a great day though. Oh! As we were eating at the Cantlon's, I suggested that we all go around and say what we are thankful for, and I felt like I was home.  :)

Yesterday was Skills and Interviews with President Scott. He is so funny. The first thing he asked me when I sat down with him was - "So Sister Hardcastle, how long have you been out? Almost a year right?" I started laughing. I told him that I only came out in May, and he didn't believe me. Funny, funny man. It was a much needed interview and of course it was amazing to see Sister Scott.

I'm working on memorizing The Living Christ again. I'm almost done. :) I carry around flash cards with the first letter of each word everywhere. If we're walking on the street, I just recite it and it's so great.

The weather is starting to get nippier and nippier. Winter is on it's way.............

The other night, the fire alarm went off at 2:30 in the morning. We had to go outside and tons of firetrucks were there. FALSE ALARM...someone just pulled it to be funny. It wasn't funny.

"I want my life to be like a pair of shoes, worn out in the service of my God."

I guess that is all for now. I hope everyone who is going to the cabin gets there safe and sound! I won't be mad if any of you write me a letter. I promise.  :)


Sister Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others On Their Way"

No...I didn't buy them...

Sister Tuia :)

Happy 5 months last week :)

Mommy's letter :) :) :) :)

Me :)

I bought this one in Woodstock...the smaller the cuter :)

Thanksgiving :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

GREAT WEEK. 5 Months...

Dearest Family and Friends,

I have to start off by wishing my Daddio the GREATEST AND HAPPIEST 53rd BIRTHDAY on Saturday! I will be thinking of you. I hope that everyone is super nice and lets you watch Forest Gump or Cast Away or ELF. Haha, I love you Dad. Thanks for being my best friend.

I have so much to say this week - But let's start off with General Conference. 

General Conference takes a whole new spin when you're a missionary. Along with listening and taking notes, you're constantly praying that your investigators will feel the Spirit and gain a witness of the Restored Gospel. It was incredible. I can add my words to President Monson's that this past Conference was one of the most inspiring to date. I'll just highlight my favorite parts. :)

M Russell Ballard - "If EVERY member will reach out to ONE person from now until Christmas, MILLIONS will feel the love of God." Take this as a challenge my friends. DO IT. Reach out to at least one person from now until Christmas. Please.

Richard J. Maynes - "You must become the rock the river cannot wash away." I loved this talk, because it was all about endurance. One of my favorite things, which I stole from my sweet sister Jaclyn, is ETTE. Endure to the End. Spiritual endurance takes dedication, perverseness and self-disciple. RUN THIS RACE WITH ENDURANCE.

David M. McConkie - God Speaks. He spoke anciently, He spoke to Joseph, He will speak to YOU.

So what does this mean to us?

1. We are on the LORD'S errand. We are his agent, therefore entitled to HIS help.
2. We are called to Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether or not you wear a name tag, that is your calling. 
3. We are commanded to teach the principles of the Gospel. Not only teach them, but LIVE them. 

In that case, where do we begin?

1. Live in a manner to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
2. Obtain the word before you declare the word. STUDY.
4. Stand as a Witness of the things you teach. 

We are all entitled to teach with the power and authority of God.

I loved this talk so much because he wasn't speaking to the missionaries. He was speaking to every single member of the church. I don't know about you all, but I think that the leaders of the church are trying to stress the importance of sharing the Gospel....

The last talk I'll highlight was given by Terence M. Vinson -

We need to love God the same way He loves us. When trials come our way, do we turn towards God or away?? We need to use ALL of our strength to endure trials. ALL of our strength includes the help of God. With His help, ALL things can be lifted. "The more I learn of Him, the less I want to leave Him." May we all return the love of our Savior to Him by giving Him our hearts.

General Conference was simply so inspiring and so motivating! Can you believe it was one year ago when President Monson announced the age change for missionaries. Look at me now, who would've thought that at 19 and a half, I'd be living in Hamilton Ontario. AH I love it.

There's another exciting event that took place this week - WE HIT THE STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE. The area of Hamilton Mountain West is a fairly new area. It was opened in March, and has never reached Standards. Haha, not anymore! We were so blessed this week. Investigators are coming to church and progressing. Prayer works my friends. Also, hard work works too.

Let's talk about the investigators. Our teaching pool is small, but that's okay. We're working on that. Haha, but we had the most amazing lesson with Cleveland this past week. He has been taught by the missionaries for about 4 months now. He finally decided to quit smoking this week! However, he still wouldn't set a baptismal date. We went to see him on Saturday evening and I felt so prompted to read 2 Nephi 31 with him. We did, and my friends, Cleveland is being baptized on November 10. The Spirit was SO strong. Sister Puruganan bore the most amazing testimony and I just sat there in tears. It was one of those times when I truly felt the love that God has for me and all of His children. When Cleveland was saying the closing prayer, all I could things was "Wow, I'm never going home." It was one of the most memorable experiences that I've had so far on my mission. Cleveland also came to a session of General Conference and loved it. SOLID!

Sam, we've been having a hard time meeting with her. Unfortunately - she probably won't be able to be baptized next week, but miracles happen! She is so great, and hopefully we can start meeting with her soon. Brittany is dating a less active, Andrew. We do service for them a lot, but they keep every single commitment that we leave them. :) They're awesome and Brittany loves having us over.  We are teaching a sweet single mom named Rebecca. She also keeps every single commitment that we leave with her, but she refuses to be baptized... we'll see about that. :)

I had a very special experience this week. I don't think I mentioned this in my last email, but I pulled my lower back last weekend. It was so painful, to the point that I couldn't even stand up straight. Every single morning I felt like I had been hit by a bus, because my body wouldn't move. Last district meeting, I was able to receive a blessing. My friends, Priesthood Power is real. Within seconds of that blessing, the pain subsided. The next morning, my back didn't even hurt anymore. In that amazing blessing, I was promised that I would be able to physically handle every obstacle that came my way. Such a miracle. I am so thankful for the Priesthood and for worthy men who carry that Priesthood. I am so thankful that I was raised in a home with a Father who honors his Priesthood, with brothers as well. I am so blessed!

Canadians like to celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Weirdos. So next Mondayis Thanksgiving, therefore, the next time I email it will be the 16th (Wednesday).

Also, I mentioned the Relief Society President (Sister Gallacher) here that my top retainer has fallen off. That was last Monday, and the next day she had me in to the place that she works to get it fixed. The orthodontist fixed everything, and ordered me a nice retainer on a killer deal... blessings.... Also, Sister Gallacher had been emailing Mom and Dad and next time I saw her she came and gave me huge hug and said - "This is from your mom and dad." It was the best!

This coming week should be fantastic. I get to go on an exchange this evening in Brampton with Sister Tuia. Sister Tuia is perhaps my favorite sister missionary in this mission. We then have Zone Training Meeting. Hey, one of my ZL's, Elder Kenning is from Bountiful..... We will also be able to see Patrick and Serena this week (The best member referrals ever).

I hope that you all have an amazing week. I love you all more than you will ever know. I love my Savior and I pray that we can all strive to be more like Him every single day.


Sister Hardcastle

"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others on Their Way"

P.S. Here is my current address:
Sister Corinne Hardcastle
Canada Toronto Mission
11 Kendale Court #504
Hamilton, Ontario
L9C 2T7

The front of the apartment

Picture of a picture :)